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Autoimmune Diseases: List, Types, Facts, Information

Updated/Revised Date: 2022-04-10
Author: Disabled World | Contact: Disabled World (Disabled-World.com)
Additional References: Autoimmune Diseases Publications

Synopsis: Autoimmune diseases arise from an over-active immune response of the body against substances and tissues normally present in the body. In other words, the body attacks its cells. Autoimmune disorders are classified into two types, organ-specific (directed mainly at one organ) and non-organ-specific (widely spread throughout the body). Nearly 79% of autoimmune disease patients in the USA are women. Furthermore, they tend to appear during or shortly after puberty. It is not known why this is the case, although hormone levels have been shown to affect the severity of some autoimmune diseases, such as multiple sclerosis.

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Main Document

Our bodies have an immune system that protects us from disease and infection. But if you have an autoimmune disease, your immune system attacks itself mistakenly.

Normally, the immune system's army of white blood cells helps protect the body from harmful substances, called antigens. Examples of antigens include bacteria, viruses, toxins, cancer cells, and foreign blood or tissues from another person or species. The immune system produces antibodies that destroy these harmful substances.

Autoimmune diseases arise from an over-active immune response of the body against substances and tissues normally present in the body. In other words, the body attacks its cells. This may be restricted to certain organs (e.g., in thyroiditis) or involve a particular tissue in different places (e.g., Goodpasture's disease, which may affect the basement membrane in both the lung and the kidney).

Autoimmune disorders are classified into two types, organ-specific (directed mainly at one organ) and non-organ-specific (widely spread throughout the body). An autoimmune disorder may result in:

An autoimmune disorder may impact one or more organ or tissue types. Areas often impacted by autoimmune disorders include:

Nearly 79% of autoimmune disease patients in the USA are women. Furthermore, they tend to appear during or shortly after puberty. It is not known why this is the case, although hormone levels have been shown to affect the severity of some autoimmune diseases, such as multiple sclerosis.

The treatment of autoimmune diseases is typically with immunosuppression - medication which decreases the immune response.

Autoimmune disorders can also have flare-ups, when they get worse, and remissions, when symptoms get better or disappear. Treatment depends on the disease, but in most cases one important goal is to reduce inflammation. Sometimes doctors prescribe corticosteroids or other drugs that reduce your immune response.

Treatments your doctor suggests will depend on your disease and symptoms. Types of treatments include:

Many people take medicines to reduce the immune system's abnormal response. These are often called immunosuppressive medicines. Examples include corticosteroids (such as prednisone) and non-steroid drugs such as azathioprine, cyclophosphamide, mycophenolate, sirolimus, or tacrolimus.

List of Autoimmune Diseases

There are more than 80 types of autoimmune diseases, including:

Summary Points

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Subtopics and Associated Subjects


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Disabled World provides general information only. The materials presented are never meant to substitute for professional medical care by a qualified practitioner, nor should they be construed as such. Financial support is derived from advertisements or referral programs, where indicated. Any 3rd party offering or advertising does not constitute an endorsement.


Cite This Page (APA): Disabled World. (2022, April 10). Autoimmune Diseases: List, Types, Facts, Information. Disabled World. Retrieved January 30, 2023 from www.disabled-world.com/health/autoimmunediseases/

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